Wedding Planning

Black-Owned Philly-Area Wedding Planners, Florists and Decor Pros to Know

This list of experts will inspire your Big Day.


black-owned-philly-area-wedding-planner

Day-of event coordination by Tiffany Chalk Events, planning by Lady In Waiting and florals by Royal Weddings by Cathy Johnson. Below, a list of Black-owned Philly-area wedding planners, florists and decor companies. Photo by Winnie Dora

There are numerous ways to show support for the Black community here in Philadelphia, and one of them is by intentionally investing in the vendors with whom you choose to work for your Big Day. This list of Black-owned Philly-area wedding planners and event designers, florists and decor companies showcases a selection of the professionals who can help you create beautiful celebrations. This by no means is a comprehensive list of all of the talents, but it’s one that we will continue to add to and expand to include experts in hair and makeup, photography, food, entertainment, fashion, paper goods, wellness and fitness, and more. (Please email suggestions to kschott@phillymag.com.) 

Alisha Simone Elegant Event Flowers & Decor

 

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Owner and head designer Alisha Simone has 30 years of experience in the industry and has a resume rich with petal power. Case in point: She once served as head designer for celebrity event planner David Tutera and has been a member of AFID. The Haddon Township-based studio’s arrangements are filled with color and detail, and are always put together with the client’s wishes and needs top of mind.

BackDroppers

 

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Husband-and-wife duo Kevin and Lee Bunch run this floral wall company. The backdrops (which are more like art) are handmade here, too, and have brought flower power to events put on by the likes of Neiman Marcus. The eight-foot-by-eight-foot creations are free-standing and can be customized with design or lettering. (Bigger sizes are available upon request.) There are paper blooms (made from premium card stock), high-quality silk iterations and boxwood walls, with petals in a range of hues — red, ivory, multicolored and more. If that’s not enough, BackDroppers also has a digital social booth for selfie-worthy snaps.  

Details Made Simple

 

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Remember the viral wedding of Kerry-Anne Perkins and Michael Gordon, whose first look made history during a Black Lives Matter protest? Carla Friday, the founder of Details Made Simple, is working with the couple on moving their big celebration to 2021. While the studio is based in Westfield, New Jersey, Philly is a key market for Friday and her team. She has four local coordinators serving the city and surrounding areas. (So there is not typically an extra charge for a wedding around here.) Details Made Simple does exactly that: The firm offers only day-of coordination (not full planning). It works with couples planning the wedding on their own and who are looking for help pulling off the Big Day. “It’s all we do; it’s our thing,” she quips. Packages include the V.I.B. (Very Important Bride), Peace of Mind, Destination Wedding, and Venue Scouting & Procurement. (There are Little Extras, like rehearsal practice, DIY project assistance or tuxedo return, offered a la carte, too.)

Elegant Events Planning & Design 

 

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Owner and lead event planner Donielle Warren has a story that sounds like a wedding dream come true: She started as an intern with Elegant Events’s former owner. She later purchased the firm and has been running the show ever since. Located in Northeast Philly and Newark, Delaware, the brand’s reach extends through the region (plus far-off destinations). The packages are broken down from Silver (day of) to Platinum (full service); the team also can outfit your soiree with floral design, invitations and related paper goods. Interested? All you have to do is text via the website.

Enchanted Allure Events 

 

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The East Brunswick-based boutique wedding planning and design firm focuses on creating a stress-free experience for couples throughout the Philly region and New Jersey (as well as New York). Founder and principal planner Melissa Brooks and her team are driven by creative and modern designs, but ultimately dream up a day (and related celebrations) that is unique to you and your love. Custom packages range from à la carte options to full-service planning and design; engagements, day-after brunches and unions of all sizes (elopements, micro-weddings or large bashes) are among the events they skillfully guide. Even virtual consultations via Zoom or teleconference are on offer. 

Event Loft

 

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Eilena Mercier-Ehmann’s full-service floral and event design studio plants a veritable garden for your Big Day in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware (and beyond). The firm partners with fellow vendors on exclusive, eye-catching experiences, using blooms, texture and lighting to achieve a look that carries through each aspect of your event. The bouquets, centerpieces, arrangements and other decorative touches are lush and rich with colors. Mercier-Ehmann serves as a mentor to other industry talents — and don’t miss a number of new developments in the works such as The Wedding Tea podcast to educate multicultural couples. 

LilyVevents

 

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Expect a bespoke experience with this full-service planning, floral design and rental firm in Philly (with additional locales in New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles). Owner Lynn Ehumadu, who has a background in law, began her career in event design via interior decorating. (One of her projects was featured on HGTV.) Since then, she has become a leader in the wedding industry. She and her team work with clients on table design, custom furnishings, exquisite centerpieces, venue decor and transformations, whether the celebration is intimate and at home or large and luxurious. A last round of applause? LilyVevents’s rental furniture collection was featured at the 2020 GRAMMYs.

Pearwood Brands

 

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For Taren Kay Velez and her future team, it ended up being the perfect situation: Pearwood Brands was created while she was planning her own wedding to GiaVonni Velez, an art director and designer. She couldn’t find everything she wanted to bring her vision to life: “We tend not to conform to the limitations found in traditional weddings,” says Taren. At this time, Taren’s now mother-in-law started her calligraphy biz, East Coast Calligraphy — which did exactly that for the couple’s Big Day. It was too good to be true, so they came together to create a full-service event production and decor firm, complete with catering, floral arrangements, planning, rentals and custom invitations. “We became that one-stop shop, providing our clients with everything from soup to nuts,” says Taren. A highlight: When their clients trust the team with multiple moments and hire them for a second or third time. And why not, when you can expect such things as high-quality paper and printing techniques, farm-to-table fare, lovely tablescapes, flowers that range from minimal to modern, and furnishings aplenty to outfit your celebration. “We want our clients to feel comfortable, dream big and enjoy the journey!” says Taren. “We encourage our clients to break the mindset of searching through pre-set books and holding firm to customary rules — live a little!”

Phuliffects Events

 

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Akua Darko is a self-described “boss planner,” and a look at her website shows that the couples with whom she works agree. She is passionate about not only helping her clients create the day of their dreams but also making their wedding a success. She and her team will rise to the occasion, no matter how far along you are in the process, and enjoy building a relationship with you each step of the way. The Philly-based firm’s services include full, partial and month-of planning, as well as day-of coordination. (Darko and her team have also joined forces with other local vendors on a micro-wedding package.) Custom floral design and assistance with small occasions (future anniversaries or baby showers, perhaps) add to Phuliffects’ appeal — not to mention the wedding inspo you can find on the firm’s Instagram.

Prestige Event Design

 

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Based in Clifton Heights, the decor and rental firm provides custom design services to fit every couple’s whim. Run by Kady Traore Nignan, the company’s snazzy rentals include a glam throne love seat and a suspended cake stand; the team also provides floral design and planning. 

Royal Weddings by Cathy Johnson

 

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The Delaware-based florist and design company’s work is, indeed, fit for royalty. Cathy Johnson and her staff craft beautiful arrangements in myriad styles, from classic to modern, and will work with you on your one-of-a-kind look. Johnson offers full or partial planning, among other services.

Shining Moments Event Planning

 

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Zupenda Davis-Shine (an apropos name for her career, but of course) might have earned her doctorate in public health at Drexel, but she always wanted to be a wedding planner, too. And her own wedding in 2015 in solidified it. Two years later, she enrolled in Temple’s wedding planning and consulting certificate program. She finished her semester, held an internship with Trilogy Event Design, then created her own “shining moments” for your wedding and all the special events surrounding it. Operating out of Mt. Laurel, Shine works with couples in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey (and other locations), providing full-service or partial planning, and day-of coordination; custom packages are also available. 

Snapdragon Flowers

 

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The West Philly flower shop brings to brilliant life owner Tolani Lawrence-Lightfoot’s organic, enchanting approach to blooming designs for your festivities. In fact, Lawrence-Lightfoot believes that flowers are the artistic extension of each couple. The team uses locally sourced, unusual plants and petals from its four partner farms, and can skillfully put together arrangements for weddings large and small. Don’t miss the collection of tarot cards — perhaps a favor for a mystical wedding theme.

SoLi Events

 

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Stella McAndrews started South Jersey-based SoLi Events in 2017 — she has a penchant for design and fashion, so it seemed like a perfect fit. She began with parties and corporate events before moving into weddings. Services include full, partial and day-of planning and coordinating in Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware (and New York). The wife and mother of two (plus two “fur babies”) says she loves everything classic, trendy and chic — which you may see in her work. For her, however, it is all about the connections she makes. “I love to see [a couple’s different personalities] come out in their style, colors and designs,” she says. McAndrews also adores the special touches that are unique to each duo. The vendors, too, play a part in her passion. “Being able to work with other creatives is such a plus in this industry.”

Tiffany Chalk Events

 

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The renowned full-service planning and design firm is known for creating weddings that are elegant and refined. Owner and lead planner Tiffany Chalk is highly sought after by stylish couples in the Delaware and tri-state area (not to mention around the globe), and collaborates with the duo to achieve their dreams within their budget. She can work with you from start to finish — consultation to day-of, and every moment in between. Chalk’s brand recently celebrated its 13th anniversary.

Trilogy Event Design

 

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Chief event planner Randi Martin knows how to make dreams come true. The Jenkintown-based firm, which brings its expertise to weddings in Philly and the surrounding counties, New Jersey and Delaware, provides custom design and planning — down to the unforeseen issues that just might happen on your Big Day. The team offers multi-event wedding weekend and concierge services (think RSVP management). Martin also teaches the wedding planning and consulting certification program at Temple University and was a founding member of the Philly chapter of Wish Upon a Wedding.

The Unveiled Bride

 

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With The Unveiled Bride, owner Ciara Nobles reveals what she calls the authenticity of love — helping the couple share their personal story leading up to the wedding, during the celebration and every moment after that. The Philadelphia firm offers bridal styling, day-of-coordinating, lady-in-waiting and event planning for duos in the state, Delaware, New Jersey (and New York and Atlanta). Ask her what she’s most looking forward to in coming months, and she will say “hearing the love stories that have stood the test of time through a global pandemic,” and honoring new “I do’s” later this year and next.

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Getting married? Start and end your wedding planning journey with Philadelphia Weddings' guide to the best wedding vendors in the city.